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Thread summary:

Couple considering moving from Royal Oak Michigan to Durham North Carolina area, seeking location to live; safe area, walkable with shops, clubs, dining, downtown atmosphere

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Old 02-18-2009, 06:35 AM
 
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My husband may be getting a job in Durham and we are completely ignorant about North Carolina. We are not nervous about the move, rather excited about the possibility! We just wonder where would be the right area to live that offers quaint neighborhoods, good schools as we have small children, and a walking district.. a nice downtown area with bars, restaurants and shops that we can stroll, sit outside, have a drink and a bite... summer festivals and art fairs... stuff like that? If anyone is familiar with Royal Oak and can offer us direction on an area similar to that? We would be grateful. We don't want to be far from a downtown. Suburbia is not our "thing" and I know there are plenty of places in North Carolina that will make us happy and we don't mind if he has to drive thirty minutes to work... but not more than that preferably. Is there a downtown area of Durham like that? If so, what area would be suitable for us to live in close to down town? Thank You for any advice you may have!

Jennifer
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Durham certainly does have a downtown like that; IMO it has the most vibrant downtown area in the Triangle region. The one downside to living within walking distance to downtown Durham is that the base schools are not the best. That said, Durham has a great "choice program" that offers magnets, year round schools, etc... so you could probably get into another school if you tried hard enough. Some neighborhoods you could look at are: Trinity Park, Old North Durham, Watts-Hillandale, Old West Durham, Duke Park & Forest Hills.

We were keen on finding an area like you mentioned, however found that heading about 10-15 minutes out of Durham to the NW afforded us a great new home (i.e. - no constant repairs) in an excellent school district with only a short ride to the amenities of the city. What's more, we also have direct access to hiking trails and the river in Eno River State Park from our neighborhood. While its technically suburbuia, its not like some areas where all you see is a sea of houses and strip malls...northern Durham is different.

Another option might be the small town of Hillsborough, located a few miles west of Durham in Orange County. It has a neat historic downtown, good schools (Orange County) and some cool old houses.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Hey Jennifer!! We're from the Royal Oak area too (just moved here in July) and love Durham. I wish I could offer you more information about the city, but like mdp_az, we moved just outside (the east side) because we wanted a larger home with more property, but you'd be happy in either Durham or Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill feels a bit smaller, I'd feel more comfortable walking around it at night. You probably wouldn't like Cary, Wake Forest, or Hillsborough if you liked the energy/urban atmosphere back home.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:35 AM
 
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I second the recommened areas listed by mdp_az. We bought a home in northern Durham, just inside the city limits, and couldn't be happier. We don't have kids yet, but are confident we are in a good neighborhood for raising them when we do. My husband is from Michigan and loves it here.

Check out the American Tobacco Campus (ATC in local lingo) for baseball games, great food, and free outdoor concerts. Brightleaf Square is great for strolling, people-watching, and getting a bite, too. As mdp_az mentioned, there are trails and parks throughout the city and I highly recommend the dog park!

Durham is not too far from Raleigh, Apex, Cary, etc, where there are lots of fairs, including the State Fair, and special events. Durham has its own Farmer's Market and Crafts every weekend. Since Durham has such a rich history, there are lots of heritage events throughout the year. Also, the new Durham Perfoming Arts Center recently opend and we are sure to get some pretty big entertainers there. Also, there are lots of small theater companies and musical groups.

In short, there is no shortage of things to keep you and your kids entertained in this area! Whether you want to get back to nature or have a night on the town, you can do it here. Plus, depending on the neighborhood you choose, you'd never know you are in the city. That's one of the best things about the neighborhood we chose - we're 10 minutes from everything yet feel like we're away from it all (for the most part).

I hope things work out for your possible new job!
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:50 AM
 
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thank you so much!
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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Well, you can look into the pros and cons carefully and decide for yourself. Here's the link:

Safety in Durham

Have a safe transition
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:07 AM
 
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Okay... MDP_AZ, Tabbcat and Hilville... now I need zip codes to search the MLS! ha ha ha... should have asked before... your recommendations sound great!
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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The "downtown" neighborhoods I mentioned are mostly in 27701, 27705 & 27707.

Northern Durham is pretty well covered in 27704, 27705 & 27712. Do note that 27712.
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp_az View Post
The "downtown" neighborhoods I mentioned are mostly in 27701, 27705 & 27707.

Northern Durham is pretty well covered in 27704, 27705 & 27712. Do note that 27712.

Thanks again! So, (not to pry but your area sounds ideal) what area code are you in? I googled Eno River State Park and it is in 27705?
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyJKC View Post
Thanks again! So, (not to pry but your area sounds ideal) what area code are you in? I googled Eno River State Park and it is in 27705?
I'm in 27712; just sent you a DM w/ more specific info.
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